The Secondary Education major is a two-year curriculum is designed for a student who plans to teach in high school. It includes some of the core curriculum for the teaching certificate.
What can I expect from a career in Secondary Education?
High school teachers typically do the following:
- Plan lessons in the subjects they teach, such as biology or history
- Assess students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
- Teach students as an entire class or in small groups
- Grade students’ assignments to monitor progress
- Communicate with parents about students’ progress
- Work with individual students to challenge them, to improve their abilities, and to work on their weaknesses
- Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
- Develop and enforce classroom rules
- Supervise students outside of the classroom—for example, at lunchtime or during detention
High school teachers generally teach students from the 9th through 12th grades. They usually teach one or two of the subjects or classes a student has throughout the day. For example, they may teach government and history.
In one class, high school teachers may work with students from different grades because, in many schools, students are divided into classes based on their abilities, not only their age. For example, a high school teacher of Spanish may have students from 9th through 12th grades in first-year Spanish and also have students from 9th to 12th grades in advanced Spanish—depending on how much language instruction the students have had.
High school teachers see several different classes of students throughout the day. They may teach the same material—for example, world history—to more than one class if the school has many students taking that subject.
The traditional route to becoming a public school teacher involves completing a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program and then obtaining a license. However, most States now offer alternative routes to licensure for those who have a college degree in other fields. Private school teachers do not have to be licensed but may still need a bachelor’s degree.